Housing and Homelessness Strategic Initiative

Trinity Church Wall Street’s Housing and Homelessness Initiative seeks to break the cycle of mass homelessness and housing instability in New York City. This initiative advances Trinity’s strategic mission to build up our neighborhood by advocating for New Yorkers who find themselves in shelters or who are on the brink of losing their housing. In addition to providing grants and Program Related Investments, Trinity will use its voice and community to promote policy changes and solutions that address housing instability and homelessness.

Mass homelessness has reached an all-time high in New York City, with more than 63,000 people, including 23,000 children—over 25 percent of whom are under the age of five—sleeping in shelters each night. In addition, there are an estimated 4,000 adults sleeping on the City’s streets and in its subways. With over 90 percent of people in the shelter system self-identifying as Black or Latino, there is no denying that homelessness disproportionally impacts communities of color. To address this issue, the Housing and Homelessness Initiative is working in close coordination with Trinity’s Racial Justice Initiative which is committed to dismantling racism by breaking the cycle of mass incarceration.

The reasons for New York City’s homelessness crisis are complex. Citywide, there is an overall shortage of low-income housing, as many units that were previously protected under rent stabilization have become market rate. As a result, finding an apartment for a low-income family that can only pay rent of $1,000 per month is incredibly difficult. Shelters have become the only option for many households. We also know that the shelter census represents only a portion of the number of New Yorkers that face housing instability. Not counted in the homelessness figures are doubled-up or overcrowded residences that are often precarious and unsafe. We also know that, in addition to an affordable housing unit, many households need services to address factors contributing to their housing crisis if they are to stay stably housed.

In response to this crisis, Trinity’s Housing and Homelessness Initiative seeks to address housing instability and homelessness in New York City by supporting not-for-profits, networks and alliances whose work aligns with the following goals:

  • Prevent people from going into shelter and provide the supports needed to keep them in stable housing.
  • Break the cycle of generational homelessness with a focus on children and youth.
  • Advance policies and structural reforms that expand evidence-based solutions or seek to find and prove new models to address the housing crisis.
  • Eradicate discriminatory housing practices and lower the barriers of entry into the housing market for communities of color, including justice-involved individuals and other vulnerable populations.
  • Create and preserve low-income housing units across New York City.